We live in times of great darkness. And Satan is ever mindful of how he can deceive us or distort our views about ourselves, and our God. In addition to Satan’s consistent efforts to gain entrance to our hearts and minds, we have to deal with our own human frailties including a predisposal towards negative thinking and a general lack of faith. Once we realize the true magnitude of the fight in which we are engaged, it should come as no surprise that the apostle Paul urges us to “put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” (Eph. 6:11)
Even believers in Christ can sometimes forget to guard their minds from the world and from their adversary, the Devil. Whether we realize it or not, we are engaged in a battle. Our opponent knows our weaknesses and he is extremely subtle in his approach. His goal is to increase the noise in our minds and to get us so distracted by “life” that we forget that we are even in a battle to begin with. Many of us may not like the idea that we are in a battle, especially since most of us came to Christ as lost and broken sheep, not trained warriors. Nevertheless, the call that rings forth from the Word of God, and from the stadium of heaven filled with the saints of God that have gone before us, is loud and clear: “Get up and fight!”
Here are strategies our enemies use against (and this is not an exhaustive list)
Strategy #1 - Convince man he is his own god. Trick man into believing he is not accountable to a Creator. In other words, get man to think the world revolves around him. We must turn his eyes inward rather than upward.
Strategy #2 - Raise up a bevy of false prophets who propose a variety of alternative religions. Any religious practices are fine, as long as they don't involve trusting Jesus and following Him as Lord of all. In fact, use false religion as a weapon against Christianity by convincing man that as long as the religion box is checked in his life, it will all turn out fine in the end.
Strategy #3 - Fan into flame man's sinful desires. Tempt him to give into those desires so that these habits become addictions driving man further from God. Place things in man's path which prompt him to compromise any allegiance to God's Word, and any commitment to holy living. Get man to hate others, hold grudges, and live with bitterness and resentment. Use lust, greed, jealousy, and every weapon at your disposal.
Strategy #4 - Do whatever it takes to convince man that Scripture is nothing but a bunch of myths, and is not to be taken literally. Since pride is our specialty, use it to incite man to think highly of his knowledge, as long as it doesn't involve true knowledge of Christ, and a reliance upon God's Word. We must undermine any confidence man places in the Word of God.
Strategy #5 - Use science against man. Lead man to think science provides all the answers he needs in life, and to reject any belief in the supernatural. This includes rejecting the notion of Satan, angels, miracles, and even God Himself.
Strategy #6 - Convince man that no one can really know whether or not there is life after death. Keep man so busy with activities in this world that he barely has time to think about deeper issues, such as eternity, and the immortality of the soul. Get man to view himself the way he views animals. He lives, and dies, and that's it.
Strategy #7 - Realize that many human beings will choose to believe heaven and hell exist. For those people, do anything necessary to convince them they must earn their way into heaven. Above all else, distract man from considering the message of salvation by grace through faith in Christ.
So, just how exactly do we “stand up and fight?”
We do so by falling to our knees in absolute and utter humility.
Our weakness and humble “surrender” to God is the ultimate solution in spiritual warfare. The apostle Paul knew this all to well when it was revealed to him that God’s “strength is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Cor. 12:9)
When you humble yourself under the mighty hand of God, surrender to Him, and admit your frailty and weakness, the Lord Himself becomes your defense! Satan trembles at the Christian believer who falls to his knees, acutely aware of his frailities and failures, and calls out on the name of the Lord for help. (See Psalms 34:17). If pride is the armor of darkness, humility is the armor of light. Each and every day, we are all given a choice to act humbly or to express pride. Make it your goal to habitually practice humility and to resist the spirit of pride.
The enemy desperately wants to draw you out and engage you directly in a match of wits. He is hoping that you will try to defend yourself in your own strength when he comes with a discouraging word. He is longing to entangle you with the spirit of offense that will likely engage you in a battle of the flesh. When we “get up and fight” according to God’s wisdom, we do so by remembering who the battle belongs to: The battle belongs to the Lord. And there is nothing Satan fears more than a direct confrontation with our Almighty God.
Always remember that guarding your mind is one of the most important keys to winning in spiritual warfare and maintaining your walk with God.
For more about putting on the full armor of God, see previous article